Poison: A New Coat Of Neon
by Martin Popoff

It's no secret that the Poison package is the hard rock success story of the summer. Crowds averaging a screaming 10K across the America are showing up to revel in a back catalogue of pop metal hits that have pushed and shoved Poison albums to somewhere around 18 million albums sold in the U.S. alone.

Call me a converted fan, and a grudgeful one at that, really quite tingled by the five new studio tracks on the band's new album Power To The People (the other 13 are raggedly and endearingly live), and similarly stoked at the band's happy enlightened post-glam arrangements all over the recently unshelved Crack A Smile... And More! Album, first second-guessed and painstakingly assembled in 1994. I'm one of those that Poison drummer Rikki Rockett would have felt "just didn't get it". Maybe he'd even call me an industry person, with that disdain he has for all those who constantly disrespected everything Poison accomplished in the euphoric stratosphere of the '80s they owned. For the record (and I say this so all you Hard Boarders don't jump my ass), I had a handful of bands like this I took to heart. I was a mild Slaughter fan, a huge booster of Kik Tracee, quite dug Tyketto and Lillian Axe, thought the Guns were godz, and above all, felt personally mortally wounded when the great Love/Hate didn't break big. Now that was my kind of party metal. Jizzy, man, you just want to inhale a six pack when he takes hold of that mic. But Poison, sorry, I wasn't invest at the time. Weren't my bag. I was jaded, and frankly, too old. Tooth And Nail, Out Of The Cellar, Lick It Up... that was my Poison. Personally, I thought it was Poison and not Nirvana that killed metal. But Rikki would tell you it was Poison clones. Maybe he's right, but every rose has a thorn, and look what the cat dragged in and maybe the most important word in nothin' but a good time is... nothin'.

But man, YOU were there. And judging from the rockin' good times at the concert, you are there now louder than ever. And I'm down with it, somewhat getting it, although I still find all of Bret's working class dreams and desires lyrics a bit - no frig it man - A LOT maudlin. Bon Jovi he almost is (which ain't much). Springsteen, forget it.

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